Arkansas women beaten by Georgia

By: RICHARD CROOME Special to the Democrat-Gazette
Published: Sunday, March 11, 2018
Arkansas' Lexi Jacobus competes in the pole vault invitational Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, during the Tyson Invitational in the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas' Lexi Jacobus competes in the pole vault invitational Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, during the Tyson Invitational in the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The Arkansas women couldn't have performed much better on the second day of the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

The problem for the Razorbacks was neither could the Georgia women, who have found their stride by adding sprinters to their bevy of jump champions.

The Razorbacks' efforts were good enough to place second, which Coach Lance Harter couldn't have been more proud of when he stood behind his team and watched as his athletes celebrated their accomplishment.

"We thought earlier in the day when we were kind of scoping it out that it was going to be a battle to get fourth," Harter said. "We just exceeded one event after another after another. I had us having 35 [points] and we had 49. Georgia just outnumbers you with firepower, and it's a situation where we are elated to get second, win the SEC meet and come back here in a short turnover and get second at the national meet."

The Razorbacks' 49 points were 12 behind Georgia and 15 clear of third-place Kentucky.

"We are going to cherish the moment and bathe in it as long as we possibly can, and then again outdoors starts Monday," Harter said.

Highlighting the day were twins Lexi Jacobus and Tori Hoggard, who avenged last year's showing at the NCAA meet and outperformed SEC champion Olivia Gruver of Kentucky to place first and second in the pole vault.

"Tori and I for three years now have been hoping to perform this well at the national championship meet, so to come away both with indoor PRs I couldn't ask for anything more," Jacobus said. "We are both so excited, and I knew this was coming. This was our goal to go 1-2, and had she beat me, I would be just as happy."

Jacobus cleared a school record 15 feet, 3½ inches to win the pole vault, edging her sister by 2 inches.

"It stayed on by a little, just barely, but it stayed and that is pole vaulting," Jacobus said. "It felt like 10 seconds honestly. I thought it was going to come down but it stayed so I'm so happy."

Jacobus finished tied for seventh at 13-9¼ and Hoggard was fifth at 14-¼ last year at the same Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium in the indoor championships.

Payton Chadwick won the 60-meter hurdles by four-hundreths of a second.

Chadwick, who ran under eight seconds for the first time in the 60 hurdle prelims Friday, bettered the effort with a 7.922 in the final. She needed every hundredth of a second in bettering Southern Cal's Anna Cockrell.

"I wasn't sure, and I was kind of getting emotional and then when I saw my name pop up [on the scoreboard] I was overwhelmed," Chadwick said. "Amazing, felt like I did my job and did what I was supposed to do for myself and for my team and my coach."

Chadwick changed to individual events this season after participating in the multi events.

"I'm a lot less stressed, a lot happier. Going into this meet knowing I just had to run my fastest was a lot better for me overall mentally," said Chadwick, who still performed in three events in a 50-minute span Friday. "So it was a great change for me."

Nikki Hiltz started the proceedings with a third-place finish in the mile with a personal best 4:32.59, which was just .19 off the school mark.

"I think I'm unhappy with third but happy with the time," Hiltz said. "I had a rough first half, but by the second half I tried to put myself up there in third or fourth and by the time they went I didn't have it. What I'm most disappointed with is the points. I wanted to get more than six, but anytime I can contribute it's a good day."

Arkansas also got points from Desiree Freier, who was fifth in the pole vault (14.5½) and Janeek Brown, who was eighth in the 60 hurdles at 8.51 after clipping a hurdle.

Sports on 03/11/2018

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